We honor military heroes at the Survivor Game, remember one of our own, and change lives with special rewards.
A Fighter to the End
Mike Christie passed away in July. He was diagnosed with kidney disease and had been on the waiting list for a transplant for 4 years. Mike was 69. Mike and his wife Molly (right) were married for 47 years and have 3 grown children. I (Jeff Kingery, your editor) met Mike for the first time several years ago. I knew he had played over 400 games in the National Hockey League. I knew him better from his days with the California Seals than his time with the Colorado Rockies as I grew up in the San Francisco area when he was breaking in. These last few years Mike and I would have coffee from time to time, usually on a day where he did not have to endure dialysis. I found he was a huge baseball fan who liked talking the game as much as hockey. I asked him how he thought of himself as a player and he said, "Blue collar. A guy who would stand up for his teammates." I know all of us at Dawg Nation were honored that he was on our team.
"Perhaps my fondest memories from my childhood were when my dad took me to Colorado Rockies hockey games at the old McNichols Arena," reminisced Dawg Nation founder Martin Richardson. "The players were truly my heroes and seeing them in person was magical to me, specifically my favorite player, Mike Christie, #3. Two years ago I had the immense pleasure of meeting my childhood hero. That meeting turned into a true friendship and Mike soon joined us at Dawg Nation events. He brought tears to my eyes when he told me how proud he was to be part of our organization. I'm going to miss him. The world has lost one of the good guys."
Dawg Bowl IX
A Special Salute
There’s always a theme for our marquee event. This year the Dawgs saluted those in the military as we welcomed two veterans to the ice. Jason Shepperly and Jerry DeVaul are both remarkable men and incredible athletes who play sled hockey.
Jason Shepperly (left) was a medic in Afghanistan when the vehicle he was in was hit by an IED. As Jason worked on the injured they were hit a second time, inflicting serious, life threatening injuries to him. Jason still attended to each of his comrades, saving the lives of all his men. His courage and bravery earned him the Bronze Star of Valor and a Purple Heart. 

Jerry DeVaul (right) survived three tours in Afghanistan and Iraq while in the Army only to lose his legs in a freak accident while at work in Trinidad. Jerry is now president of the Warrior Avs and both Jerry and Jason played in the sled hockey game that was part of the Dawg Bowl festivities.

At Dawg Bowl opening ceremonies the two faced off with David Jacober dropping the ceremonial first puck.

Jason was the recipient of a check from Dawg Nation to cover numerous medical bills and expenses. Donations continued to roll in even after the final puck had been dropped at Dawg Bowl. The final check for over $74,000 to Shep and his lovely wife Ashley left them shocked and overwhelmed by the generosity of the hockey community. Dawg Nation Board Member and Secretary Rob Packard, DN Board VP Greg Clinard, Martin Richardson, DN Board President Todd Gehrke and DN Ambassador Trevor Clark joined the Shepperlys.

A year ago Graysen Cameron (left) was an honorary coach at Dawg Bowl XIII getting some help from NHL star Paul Stastny. Graysen survived the Humboldt bus crash that killed 16 of his teammates and friends. His back was broken and doctors said he would never play hockey again. They forgot to tell Graysen.

In his first game since the accident, Graysen scored a goal playing for the Mainline West team in the top Platinum division.

Not to be outdone, his buddy Ryan Vandervils (left), who was burned over 50% of his body just one year ago, scored the winning goal in the same game setting off a huge celebration from a bench filled with NHLer’s!! 
Survivors All!
If you asked any of the players, they probably couldn't tell you the score, but that's not what the Survivor Game is all about. Those who play in the highlight event of Dawg Bowl have overcome illness and injury to get back on the ice. It's a special time for those who return to the game that they love. The smiles from (left to right) Andy Gerrie, Dave Repsher, Danny Packard and Steve Jouflas prove it! And all those who participate say the thought of playing hockey again helped them through the long days of recovery. 
Dawg Bowl IX featured over 40 teams battling for trophies in 7 divisions. Congratulations to all our competitors. There is a photo link below. Contact Kelli for full size digitals.
Women’s Division - Mallards

Copper B - Minnesota Oldtimers
Copper A - Rat Bastards 
Bronze B - Dirtnappers
Bronze A - Thunder Chickens
Silver - Receptra
Platinum - Denver Concrete

A Helping Paw

Giving back is what Dawg Nation is all about. In seven years we've helped over 100 families in times of need with over $1,600,000 in recipient aid.
Lucas O'Connor is a hard working college student who referees hockey games. He suffered a serious leg injury while working a high school game. His finances were such that Lucas refused an ambulance and later asked a fellow referee, "How am I going to pay for this?" That's when the Colorado Ice Hockey Referee Association and Dawg Nation joined together to lift a crushing weight off Lucas' shoulders.

The check, presented at Dawg Bowl, covers all of Lucas' bills! Dawg Nation Board Member and Secretary Rob Packard (in red), Board Vice President Greg Clinard (to the right behind Lucas) and the Dawgfather made the presentation.

Last December the Rodell family received news that no family wants to hear. Their son Jack (4 at the time) was diagnosed with leukemia leaving Jeff and Krystalyn nervous and scared. As the bills piled up they worried about how they would stay above water. in June, with the combination of a public skate, auction, generous donations and a Dawg Nation match we were able to provide the family with a check for $23,700!

Joining in the happy moment were Martin Richardson, Dawg Nation Board President Todd Gehrke, Emerson Rodell (1), Krystalyn Rodell, Jeff Rodell, Jack (now 5), and DN Ambassador Andy Gerrie.

Special thanks to the Edge, the Colorado Avalanche everyone that stepped up to help.

Paying it Forward
A HUGE thanks to Garrett Ladd (left) and Bout Time Pub and Grub for once again choosing Dawg Nation as the charity of choice at their 2019 Car Show. Special thanks to Jake Schroeder (right) for joining us and wowing the crowd with another spine tingling rendition of the the national anthem. Also a big thanks to everyone including Gabe Gauthier (second from right) that took the time to join us for a great day of celebrating life and 175 fast cars! 
Love Those Dawglegs!
Join us September 9 for the annual Tee it up with Dawg Nation fund raising golf tournament at the sensational Highlands Ranch Golf Club.

Every penny after expenses will help adult hockey players and their families across the Rocky Mountain region.

A big thank you to The Ahbe Group for once again being our title sponsor.
To Our Suporters, Donors, Partners, and Sponsors ...Thank You!
Skylight Specialists, Inc
This newsletter was written and edited by Jeff Kingery. Photos by the incomparable Kelli Packard.
Thanks to Martin Richardson, Bill Miller and Rob Packard for their assistance.

Dawg Nation Hockey Foundation
720 432 9471
PO Box 182
Indian Hills, CO 80454